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Published: Wednesday, 6/25/2003

Water panel sues Erie Co. over service

Members of a regional water district based in Norwalk, Ohio, have filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court, Toledo, against the Erie County commissioners, claiming the county has limited and encroached on the district's water service area.

The suit says officials of Northern Ohio Rural Water allege that Erie County constructed and installed water service lines along Fox, Camp, Kelley, Mason, and Huron-Avery Roads, which are in Northern's service district. The suit says the county intends to construct additional lines in the same territory.

The district is seeking to have the court order for the county and any other groups working with it to cease supplying water or attempting to supply water to areas along Barrows, Berlin, Jeffries, Wikel, Reiger, Cable, River, Kelley, Mason, Fox, Camp and Huron-Avery roads, or any other areas its service district.

Northern Ohio Rural Water has pledged its water service revenues to pay off a loan of $4.1 million to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the lawsuit says. Because of that debt, the water district said it enjoys protection under federal law.

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